Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Daniel Boone National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Started the trip by parking at the Rock Bridge picnic area with a 3 day pass. Got a late start and ended up camping on the creek about a half mile south of the wildcat the first night. The trail is rough a majority of the time with white diamonds blazing the entirety of the trail. It’s very humid on this trail due to the rainforest like vegetation. There are a lot of wet crossings and rocky obstructions which makes it fun to navigate. If you are filtering water be sure to fill up when you can because access to the creek at times is sparse. . Have fun!!

I liked this trail. Be warned we did see a rattlesnake and a copper head swimming in the pool of water where the big rock is. It’s a long trail and we didn’t get a chance to finish it. But the bridge was neat. Didn’t get to see a lot of birds, just heard them.

This was our first time to the area. Trail was great in the beginning, loved the suspension bridge, but then it got confusing and we got lost. We happened upon one sign that the top had been knocked off, not sure what was on it. I’ll be sending in the picture in and hopefully they’ll get it fixed. On another sign, the words for the trail were barely legible. Somehow we ended up on the rough trail and had been walking five hours before we walked out, thankfully with the help of a couple of hikers who have been there before and who knew the area.

backpacking
2 months ago

Three of us hiked in on the Double arch side, descended to the creek between Double arch and Courthouse rock. We found a campsite well off of the trail and stayed 2 nights, making short day hikes as we wanted - In June 2017 (=hot weather) But the creekside campsite was cool enough and the bugs were not bad.....worth it!

first few miles was good but it got hard with big rocks steep hills and some places I had to almost just carry my bike several down trees and creek crossings , some great rock formations along the way trail marked pretty good but one place after you get to a gravel area I lost it but if you stay to the right going from the church direction you be good got to the end and rode the road back to the church took 2 hours 45 min on trail and 57 min back on road.

Very hard trail for a bike a lot of hike-a-bike trail was marked Well but one place you come to a gravel place the trail is up the hill to the left and stay down the hill

backpacking
3 months ago

very nice trail.

Really perfect hike — we did it backwards, starting towards double arch, and it couldn’t have been better.

My friend Justin and I just completed this trek yesterday. A backcountry combination of several pieces of trails through the serene and beautiful deep Red River Gorge. We parked a car at the Sheltowee Suspension Bridge parking area, then drove another to the Martin's Fork trailhead and hiked back to the first car. It took us just over 4 hours to complete the 8 mile excursion. The start of the hike up Martin's Fork is one the nicest places in the Gorge and a pleasant hike. Then you'll quickly ascend to the top of Tunnel Ridge, which will definitely get you warmed up for the rest of the hike! After this you'll descend to a low saddle between Tunnel Ridge and Koomer Ridge before ascending the latter. From there you'll descend the remainder of the hike and follow Chimney Top Creek all the way down to the Red River. Most of the trail sections selected for this hike are very lightly trafficked and the sense of space and seclusion out in the middle of this section of the Gorge is superb. Great day hike. Bring lots of water, some good snacks and chocolate, and give yourself plenty of time!

road my horse many miles on this trail throughout the years. love it.

Did the north end from 1956 to I-75 exit 49. Family of 5 11 yr old and it took us about 3 hours. Lots of scenic views and fairly nice trails.

backpacking
7 months ago

You can't go wrong in RRG!

Took Auxier Ridge to Auxier Branch to Double Arch back to trailhead. Very nice with some good little side spurs. Just be careful on the spurs, especially with children. Most of them are cliffs that you better watch what you're doing.

Had a really good time driving atvs from S tree campground to turkey foot campground it took nearly six hours and was packed with scenic trails and rock formations had a blast and wil be back.

backpacking
8 months ago

Loved it

Great trail with lots of fantastic views and varied terrain. Starts along the auxier ridge, goes to courthouse rock (climb up the thru the crack onto the top of the formation if you're daring enough!), descends along Auxier Branch trail following a beautiful stream, climbs back up to Double Arch (one of the best views in the entire gorge), then goes back to the parking lot along the ridge line road (closed to vehicles). ~8 miles, a bit strenuous, but well worth the effort!

backpacking
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Went a couple of summers ago. Was a nice trail and is in a part of the park that prohibits any man-made structures so don't expect hand rails and steps like you'll get some other places. Hiked about 7 miles in and went off trail up a creek bed to camp before hiking back out the next am. Was a difficult but very rewarding trip.

my best friend and I are section hiking the sheltowee this year. from what we've experienced, and talking to others who have hiked it's full length, the first 20 miles are the hardest. the first time we were out we hiked the northern terminus to dry branch road which is section 1-2. the next go will be next week and we hope to knock out the next half of the hardest miles. we were very disappointed by how many broads there were. it made finding a spot to camp, but the trail was easy to follow, challenging, beautiful and just our pace. it's also nice that there's not much traffic, but the trails are well maintained.

Monday, January 09, 2017

great trail! near the beginning you will come across "Jump Rock" which is a giant rock to jump off into the rock quarried river. Great place to swim on a hot summer day.

we will hike this Sheltowee Trace in its full length. Started from the Northern terminal at the trail head on November 9th 2016. I will spend my 71st birthday on this hike with my son Tom. We left at 3pm and hiked in 2 miles and stopped for the night. Right away we are aware of deer. We are trying to get this hike in before Saturday's Deer Seasons open. This trail has many private property signs along the trail. The blaze marks are also very good. First night temperature got down to 31deg. At 4.2 miles there is a good camping spot with water to be filtered. At Dry branch which is 10miles there is water from a faucet at a property owner that is very hiker friendly. We left a vehicle here because it is close to the halfway point for this leg. We went on through the cattle gate here until we came to the next cattle gate. We made sure to close them to keep his cattle in. At 11 miles we set up another camp. Next morning set out again and came to Holly Branch and a road where we could filter water. This is at 12miles. From here it is up a valley then a steep climb to a log road that parallels Hi way 64 for about 3/4 miles where at 15 miles we cross over hi way 64. Walked the forestry Ridge Rd for 4 miles then to Morehead to get the other vehicle. Total hike was about 26 miles. The scenery is hilly with lots of wildlife. We plan to repeat this action on following legs. Take two vehicles. Put one at trailhead and the other one at the end.

Did a portion of this trail in the springtime.

hiking
Monday, May 16, 2016

Trail had a few trees down but overall a great trail! Now get out there in nature!

This is a section hike of the Sheltowee Trace. I have mapped it out after carefully studying multiple maps. I will be backpacking this section in a couple of weeks (Memorial Day Weekend) and will bring a copy of this map along with a map I purchased to reference and take notes. I will also record my trip and update this map upon completing the hike with any necessary changes and a follow-up review. I will do this for each section of the trail while trying to stay between 30-40 miles per each section. This will create a multitude of 3-day trips for those who may want to hike the Sheltowee Trace in sections.

hiking
Wednesday, January 06, 2016

More strenuos than moderate, but the trail is well marked and developed. Plenty to see out at this trail in the red.

hiking
Friday, June 10, 2011

This is a great trail. Not to tuff and the elevation isn't to bad. Good for people looking to do a long moderate.
Best season is fall due to all the colors, less rain, and less bugs.

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